What You Need to Know

■ A total of 48,043 juvenile offenders were in public, private, or tribal residential placement on the date of the most recent census. In addition, just under 1,000 juveniles were in adult prisons, according to recent data.

■ Boot camps can be cost-effective and result in academic progress. They do not reduce recidivism, however, despite the common-sense belief that military-type discipline is beneficial.

■ Recent statistics indicate that 70–80 percent of juveniles released from state facilities are rearrested. On the other hand, effective programs can reduce recidivism significantly.

■ The most prevalent problem in the juvenile justice system is the presence of mental disorders. Studies show that more than two-thirds of juveniles in the juvenile justice system experience mental disorders.

■ Estimates of victimization, including sexual victimization, in juvenile facilities vary; some estimates indicate that almost two-thirds of youths are victimized. In a recent government survey, 9.5 percent of youths in state juvenile facilities and large private facilities reported one or more incidents of sexual victimization in the previous year or since their admission to the facility.

■ Racial tension has been a problem in juvenile facilities. In 2015, minorities constituted 69 percent of youths in residential placement.

■ Deinstitutionalization or stopping involuntary placements of status offenders continues; in 2015, only 2,328 committed status offenders were in residential placement, a decline of 60 percent from 1997 (Hockenberry, 2016).

■ Many wilderness programs have not been effective, but a recent evaluation showed that such programs with treatment enhancements can reduce recidivism.